Bargain hunters are not the only ones shopping online this Black Friday, Cyber Monday weekend. So are the online scammers. ecoXplorer and the gurus at Tech News Daily and scam watchdog Scambook advise you to beware of emails and websites that could steal your identity, infect your computer, or both.
Travel scams —
Beware of airline scams. Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend is one of the most heavily traveled days of the year. The bad guys know how to send ‘spoof’ emails pretending to be ticket confirmations from the airline you are traveling with. Nearly every major U.S. airline has been spoofed, with the most recent campaign targeting Delta Airlines. One common fake airline-confirmation email includes flight details in the body of the message and has an executable file as an attachment.
- Don’t click on the attachment. It could be a Trojan horse that installs a backdoor that give the scammer remote access to your computer at the same time it installs a rogue antivirus program that prevents you from getting rid of the virus.
Beware of emails offering you a FREE vacation or cruise. At best, there are hidden charges that will raise the price of free to more than what you would pay without the deal. At worst, it’s phishing or a Trojan horse and bug
- Don’t take the bait. Click here for our recent article on bogus free cruise offers.
Shopping scams —
Be careful doing online searches for the best buys on older models of electronics and gadgets still popular, such as the iPad 2 and Kindle Fire. Any deal that sounds too good to be true probably is, and very likely will lead you to a scam phishing site.
- Don’t take the bait. Any price that is more than 30% less than anything you can find from a big box chain such as Walmart, Best Buys, or even on eBay, is very likely a scam site more likely to steal your identity or your computer than send you an iPad for $24.95.
Free gift card scams —
Beware of emails or texts offering free gift cards. Scambook reports more than 80,000 scam texts have been sent recently offering free $1,000 BestBuy gift cards that direct you to sites like BestBuyWin or BestBuyContest.
- Don’t take the bait. As you already read here a few sentences ago — if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Do not click on any “free” offer that directs you to another website. That’s just asking for trouble.